So we are standing in Madurai railway station. It's too hot and the station's crowded. We had reached Madurai earlier in the morning. We went to Meenakshi temple and then some big palace where the walls were all scrambled with names of couples all over from Tamil Nadu. (Senthil love Lakshmi, like that like that) Now we're in kind of a borderline situation because we're unable to decide whether we should go to Rameswaram or head back to Kollam. The temperature and the lack of charging slots inside the railway station had kinda led our mood down. And also we didn't have a ticket so it was technically 'illegal' for us to just sit there.
So we go to the ticket counter to take platform ticket and the guy says that the train won't go through pamban railway. Instead, the train will stop at Mandapam station which is like a few kilometers from Rameswaram and then we'd had to take a bus or taxi to get to Rameswaram. Oh no! Now we're actually done because the ride through pamban railway was kinda the only thing that was in the pros list of going to Rameswaram. Now we don't wanna go there. Now we just want to get in that return train and sleep the day out of it.
That's when this random guy comes in. He's bald, in his 25s, 26s maybe.
Duh bro, do you know where we can find charging slots?
Like that we got into talking and he asks us what's there to see in Kerala, like tourist places.
And we say "well, there's Idukki for landscapes and Aleppy for houseboats.
Well, there's Aleppy and Idukki.
His name was Krishna and he was from Delhi. He had completed his diploma in mechanical engineering in 2012 (I think). He had worked at two companies and he had recently quit his job.
Oh, so you have some kind of entrepreneurship thing going on?
He had made his own money and were going places. And most importantly he was alone. Here we were on the edge of canceling our trip just because there weren't enough charging slots. I don't know what happened there. I guess it was one of those little sparks we have in our head.
In train, we again got into talking and he said this had always been his dream, to go places, alone. Because if you are with people, maybe it's more fun, but still, sometimes they let you down and we can't just be completely free.
This guy had a purpose for his life. Isn't that we all are looking for. Rather than love, than fame, than money. A purpose to live for.
Apparently, he had no Facebook or Instagram account. He had already deleted his WhatsApp account temporarily because there were too many "when are you coming back" messages. He only had a YouTube channel where he would upload his videos so that he could save up storage in the phone.
Well, let's face it, we do care about the number of likes we get in Instagram and views we have for our WhatsApp statuses.
Everything we do in our life finally conveys to a single goal. To prove to others who we are.
We reached Mandapam by 10 pm and took an auto-taxi to Rameswaram. (well there was this half an hour session of us bargaining with every taxi driver in the area and finally agreeing for Rs 50 per head) We had planned to take a room to place our luggage.
We spent the next one and a half hour searching for an affordable room. Krishna knew about our economic situation so he bargained to some extent and we were able to find a room for Rs 500 for four people. After eating the leftover dosa and chutney from the nearby hotel we went to the beach. We didn't take our mobile phones or anything valuable, we even left our watches in the room.
There were four of us. Three random kids from Kerala and the guy they met at the railway station. We were able to find a clean spot on the beach.
It was always one of my dreams to sleep under the stars and as I was tired, I laid down there straight away.
I can still feel those two hours. The beach was empty and silent. There was something about the stars. It seemed like I was hallucinating that they were in colors and were also moving pretty fast. Sometimes the waves got too strong and sprinkled salt water all over us. We sang chainsmokers and Arijit Singh. We didn't care about the lyrics. We just wanted to sing so loud that the world would know that we were finally free. We talked about our dreams, passion, all sorts of things. And slowly without even knowing I went to sleep. Just like that. We woke after some time when two policemen came to check in on us. We didn't know what time it was. We sure as hell didn't care. A guy in cycle came that way with ginger tea to make the moment more special. It was around 2 am.
It was time, reality had come knocking on our doors. Like every precious, beautiful moment, this too shall pass away.
There was this Tamil family sitting on the beach. They had no roof above to rest beneath. But they seemed happy.
Isn't that all we want? Happiness out of little things. Sayonara.